Small idea with a big heart

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Leya Vandewaetere

A local resident is making a splash with her soap business which she is using to raise money so underprivileged kids can take dance lessons. Leya Vandewaetere is the face behind The Sunny Pineapple, which manufactures artisan soaps and body products made with essential oils. The name of the unique project raising money for dance studios is “Soaps 4 Studios”.

The Sunny Pineapple runs on a non-profit model, with Leya making hand-crafted soaps. The products are made using natural, high-grade ingredients, and are packaged with biodegradable and seed-embedded materials. The idea for the Soaps 4 Studios project came from a very personal place for Leya. 

“I was a dancer for 22 years, and when I was 12 years old my father lost his job and couldn’t pay for my dance classes, my parents didn’t make a lot of money,” said Leya. “I ended up getting into a situation where I would have had to quit dance, but someone decided to sponsor me.” It was through this sponsorship that Leya was able to continue on with her dance classes. Leya went on to train with both the National Ballet School and the National Circus School. “To this day I still don’t know who it is that sponsored me,” Leya added. 

Leya is now using The Sunny Pineapple and Soaps 4 Studios as a way to pay forward the kindness she received, but on a larger scale. Her model for Soaps 4 Studios is that participating dance studios who sign up will receive their own sponsorship code. When this code is entered on The Sunny Pineapple website during an order, 30% of the proceeds are redirected to the corresponding dance studio. 

In a promotional document Leya is using to help get more dance studios on board, she dives more deeply into her story, writing, “Dance has been my passion for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t just because it was fun to move to the music. Dance was my safe haven. It was my escape from everything. When the music came on, and I let myself move, I was in control. My dream of being a circus performer was cut short when I was diagnosed with epilepsy. But I couldn’t let dance go. That’s when I decided to combine my passion for dance and making artisan soap as a way of giving back to dancers. Dance is expensive, but it’s also the best thing that ever happened to me. So I started The Sunny Pineapple to give aspiring dancers a chance to get the training opportunities I had despite financial restrictions. Everybody deserves a chance to dance.”

Anyone wishing to show their support for the project should visit the website of The Sunny Pineapple at www.thesunnypineapple.com. Purchases made on the website can have funds redirected to particular dance studios automatically. You may just make a child’s dream come true!

 

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